We caught up with performer, writer and director/dramaturg NICK FIELD, who among his many roles is currently supporting poet LYDIA TOWSEY as a Co-director (with RACHEL MARS) on Towsey's show The Venus Papers. Twitter/Insta @nickfieldartist
What 3 words would you say best describe you?
creative tenacious hungry
Tell us how you got into doing what you do
I started out playwriting when I graduated and got to work with brilliant companies like Paines Plough and the Royal Court, but I became really interested in performing my own work and the possibilities of working directly with an audience. While my work has gone on a journey that has taken in spoken word, performance art and even stand-up, the training I had early on in stagecraft and dramaturgy has always stayed with me and been an important part of what I do.
What do you enjoy most about being a director and dramaturg?
I love working with artists to develop and shape their ideas. As someone who creates solo theatre I can really relate to the challenges of making and performing work, and so it’s great to be able to help an artist bring their ideas into fruition and support them through that.
Which artist or maker has influenced you the most and why?
Probably the main influence I had to make solo theatre work came from seeing PJ Harvey’s one-person tour, it inspired me to investigate the possibilities of solo performance.
What have you enjoyed most about working on The Venus Papers?
Working on The Venus Papers has been a real joy because the ideas behind the show are so interesting. I was immediately grabbed when I saw the first draft of the script by how Lydia Towsey had managed to integrate material with contemporary political resonance and very personal material through this narrative that plays with such iconic imagery. It was great working with Lydia to help shape and hone the script and bring out the themes. I also enjoyed…the fact that there is an amazing live score, I bring music a lot into my own work so it was brilliant getting to work with the musicians and develop their role in the show alongside the script and the staging.
Where would you say your style of making, performing or presenting comes from?
I’ve made it my business to keep exploring different forms of performance, and to keep pushing myself to discover new ways of presenting my work, so I say from that.
What creative masterpiece do you wish you had written?
It would have to be Samuel Beckett’s ‘Happy Days’, the poetic tragedy and the dark humour get me every time.
What's an important piece of insider knowledge you have as a creator, maker, performer?
Preparation, preparation and more preparation. My advice is always to really think it through beforehand and go into the performance space ready to make it work.
Does the current state of affairs or popular culture influence your writing, performing or your making of art?
Yes, I am fascinated by both. My current show Work Play explores working lives and how they are effected by workplace politics at a micro level, but also how they are shaped by the current political context. And because I’m a popular culture junkie there’s a Britney cover version and references to historical war epic narratives.
Tell us about an upcoming project that excites you.
Coming up I’m going to be working with Penned in the Margins on ‘Fair Field' an adaptation of an epic medieval poem. It’s going to be a major project and I’m excited about creating a piece in response to a hedonistic feast in the poem, thrown by Gluttony. I have a feeling it’s going to get messy! The show will be at Ledbury Poetry Festival and then Shoreditch Town Hall this July. Twitter/Insta @nickfieldartist